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DanBurke

did you get divorced over your stroke?

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I actually broke my 6-years-old relationship with my (ex-)girlfriend.

Now we don't even hear from each other.

It's kinda hard to have a stroke, especially when you're young. The partner wants to continue living her/his life to the fullest, and that is simply not possible anymore.

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Dan: reverse from a caregiver's standpoint. Bruce and I have been together now 26 years. We did not marry earlier because both had gone through painful divorces. We raised an adopted daughter together and at year 25, Bruce asked me to marry him: March 5, 2009. Our daughter was through with school and starting a new life (she was pregnant, but did not know it yet), our home was paid for, education-wise it was finally just for fun: I was a nurse at a local Rehab for 15 years and Bruce was working for a close friend who was just starting out in Graphic Arts and Bruce was looking forward to many years there. Our parents were deceased, my Mom having lived with us the last few months of her life-and Bruce loved having her. He did night duty as to my shift.

 

Bruce had just started another Master's in History, I had just won my first major poker tournament. My wedding gift was a whole life insurance policy-paid for. March 22, 2009: family in to celebrate our Goddaughter's birthday. Bruce and I picked up our wedding rings and shared the news with them. Dinner at my brothers', where we shared with them. 2am-Bruce strokes.

 

He remembers nothing of the wedding plans, the rings mean nothing. My wedding dress sits in plastic in my closet. I will never leave him. He is my love and my life. But my heart is broken for what was to be. Debbie

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i wasnt married at time of my stroke, as i was 22 n sr n college. however i had a longtime girlfriend when it happened. she left me while i was n rehab hospital when she found out my long term prognosis. i was hurt by this, but understand the reason as my stroke left me functionally quadriplegic n mute, tho my mind was left unadultered which allowed me to return n finish my physics degree. i know it would b difficult for any woman to stay at that point, but i wish she would of.

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i wasnt married at time of my stroke, as i was 22 n sr n college. however i had a longtime girlfriend when it happened. she left me while i was n rehab hospital when she found out my long term prognosis. i was hurt by this, but understand the reason as my stroke left me functionally quadriplegic n mute, tho my mind was left unadultered which allowed me to return n finish my physics degree. i know it would b difficult for any woman to stay at that point, but i wish she would of.

 

 

hug.gif

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This is a sad topic, but I can see it is real. I was already divorced when I had a stroke, so it wasn't really relevant. I fear that I won't meet someone to spend my life with, but I am glad I didn't have significant other abandon me. I'm at the point that I really don't know what recovery will mean, but I'm pretty sure I'll be working. I'm happy for you Katrina! I've definitely been honest on the online dating sights. I hate getting surprises when I get there. :head_hurts:

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This is a sad topic, but I can see it is real.

 

you're right it is real. the sad thing is that when people are put into a position of care giving, the love or feelings one had for another are still there but 'we' have a relationship with someone of being active and then not being able to reciprocate back is devastating. I can see this from both sides. Its tough when you all took a vow for better or worse and then they bail.. You don't change other than your outer appearance. I think it takes a special person who stays and for that person I thank you. notfair.gif

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i have been married 12 years and stroked on our last anniversary. i have three grown children from a previous marriage. my hubby has none and is 9 years younger than me. he is a big rough tough kinda a selfish guy. the night i was admitted in the hospital he slept beside my bed all night. he was terrified for me......he has really shocked me.....he took over cooking, cleaning bathing and dressing me ect. i know he gets frustrated but all in all i am a lucky woman.

 

hugs, linda

 

 

Thats cool Linda.

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Cited from

Gender Divorce Gap After Illness Strikes

By Salynn Boyles

WebMD Health News Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

 

But when the wife was the patient, the divorce and separation rate was close to 21%, compared to 3% when the husband was seriously ill.

 

A few years ago we had the discussion of divorce after stroke here. At that time I found an alarming trend that over 90% of men divorced after the wife had the stroke, compared to women divorcing after the husband's stroke. As a caregiver of my husband who has suffered four strokes I can assure you it is no bed of roses. I can also assure you that had it been me who suffered the stroke, I would not be married now. It isn't that my husband does not love me, I just know the number of doctor's appointments and the level of need (had it been me who stroked) would have been too overwhelming for him to handle.

 

I think there are many reasons for this...maybe the most significant is the issue of working outside the home. Our society may have come a long way in equality, but the fact still remains that when the husband is taken out of the workforce to care for his wife the household income is removed, as well as health insurance and any kind of financial security. If both parties worked prior to the stroke, at least one must continue to bring an income into the family. Further complicating the situation is the possible need for a caregiver. If a family member is unable to help, a caregiver must be hired...in which case an already reduced income is further comprimised. I think the thoughts of the situation is too overwhelming to be handled.

 

I also believe, politically correct or not, that women have a natural instinct toward caregiving. From the time we are little girls, taking care of our dolls to becoming mothers caring for our babies from the womb, we use that instinct. Part of our demonstration of love toward our spouse is caring for them. Even though there is difficult post-stroke, I think we still possess that desire.

 

We have to be honest here, and acknowledge the personality changes that sometimes accompany stroke. There are times when, for the spouse's safety it is better to separate and allow professionals with experience handle the caregiving. I don't endorse divorce due to illness - any illness - but at times it is necessary for survival...emotional as well as physical. The sad thing is when it happens after a short period of time, when the stroke survivor hasn't had an opportunity to heal at all.

 

The statistic I quoted is actually a stat referring to illnesses of cancer and MS. The statistic I saw for stroke several years ago is much higher - something like an astounding 90+% of men choose to leave the relationship vs a much more modest number of women. I believe though, the rate is still about 5 to 1 men vs women.

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well said Ann

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I can remember when this topic first started. My husband passed away last November. Some may remember me telling about Rich passing away when our apartment caught on fire while I was gone buying a Christmas tree. He had his stroke in 2009. Thank The Lord from the autopsy and what everyone had told me, he didn't suffer.

Anyway, we were married 34 years. I would give anything to have him back to take care of him.

Like I think it was Ann said, I guess when you think about it, most women would stay since it is our nature to be caregivers. But I also know Rich would have stayed with me, if it was me who had the stroke. We did talk about that.I believe he would too,because we were like soul mates and became one instead of two people.

But on the other hand, I guess some people are different. I don't think I could live with myself if I would have left him because it was too hard. It never entered my mind,no matter how mad we would get at each other.I look back and realized just how much I really did love him unconditionally and did love taking care of him.

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I'm not married, but by the time the stroke happened I had a boyfriend. He was very supportive with me, and we had plans of getting marry, but he went to France (as planned) and I was so down because of my situation, that I got him away from me, but it was because of me not because of him. We are good friends now. And now I have a new boyfriend and he has been very supporting and he even wants to get married! But I am the one who hesitates, mostly because I don't want to have kids but he does.

 

As for the sleeping time, I did sleep a lot at the beginning, but now I try to sleep just 7 or 8 hours, but during the day there are moments that I feel soooo tired!

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first off, I must congratulate you for your utmost honesty. posting that with other stroke sufferers reading this is commendable. That being said, being married to a caregiver, I understand the stress one must handle.

 

 

 

You are right and you have to take of you.Having children and now cardiac problems, you have to better yourself as well. Even if you take a break for a while and then return or not doesn't make you a bad person In my opinion. :goodjob: :friends:

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I was already divorced 2 years when the stroke happened. Thank God I was because my ex would have left me when I had the stroke. This I know because he told me more than once that he could not live with someone who was sick. I know stroke or its deficits are not a sickness but I know he meant he could not be a caregiver. I felt abandoned when he left. I know it would have killed me if it would have happened after the stroke instead of 2 years earlier. I agree that caregiving is in our blood as women, that is not to say it is easy. I know it is not and to do it for decades, the women who do it are Godsent and are angels. Kudos to all you caregivers )men and women. You are all very special. I know its not given to everyone to be a caregiver. Some people just dont have the strength to do it.

 

mc

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I just want to tell you that my heart goes out to you.

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My stroy is the same as Mc. I was divorced when I had my stroke, but I know my husband would have lefted after I stroked, because he was so all about him. It is a lonely life, but life does go on. I can get & go just not like before.

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Loiuse: I can just not imagine the pain and stress you are going through. It is no wonder your health is suffering. One consideration, here in Connecticut we have a 90 day required cooling off period for any divorce proceeding and then court date is usually 9 months to one year out. Please consider quit claiming the house into just your name. Medicaid requires 36 month spend down, but with everything out of his name he will qualify for Medicaid. In the meantime, I am thinking you applied for Social Security disability for him and were probably refused. Go for the challenge or consider disability lawyer. Here in Connecticut, lawyer is paid for by SS. If you divorce him and do not have children under 18, state may still take the house or at least half of it. Also he needs to apply for Medicare. I know how time consuming this is and right now time is not your friend. But consider. If you can get some additional income from SSDI and then get him on Medicare and Medicaid, this might ease the financial burden you are handling. Please know I am praying for you and your family and some peace with your challenges. Best, Debbie

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Dear Louise,

 

I know of two cases in the small community where I grew up with couples in exactly your position. Interestingly, both were women who were ill. In one case it was a pitiful case of an elderly couple who did not have the resources for the wife to be cared for so they were forced into a divorce so she could get the long-term care she needed. In the other case it was the same situation, except the woman had MS and had been ill for a long time when the time came when she needed 24/7 care. It was too expensive to hire someone 24/7 and they had no children to help in any way. They were in their mid-40's when they divorced so she could go into Long Term Care. It is, without a doubt, a devastating decision to make.

 

Have you, by any chance, contacted the Area Agency on Aging in your community? There are often services available at no, or ability to pay, charge you might be interested in. Do you have a social worker or a case manager who may be able to tap some resources for you? It sounds as though you may be, like the rest of us caregivers, trying to do this on your own. Was your husband in the military? The VA has social workers who will help and there is no charge to you for their services. Your husband is at an age where he may not have served, but if he did that is another resource for you.

 

My husband is almost seven years out and requires 24/7 care due to his strokes. It isn't easy and we who are long-term caregivers do eventually begin to see health issues. I don't know whether it is the caregiving or our age catching up with us. I'm 62 and in the last year have had my gallbladder removed and knee surgery. It wasn't easy, that's for sure.

 

I hope I haven't misread your post. It seems as though you are experiencing burn-out, not necessarily the desire to be "free" from your husband. If you could get some real practical help caring for him so you have time to grow your business you may be able to get the time you need to solve some of the financial problems. I always try to remind myself that it is always darkest before any light comes my way. I will pray that will be the case for you.

 

The big part of the pie this won't solve is the physical side of your relationship. If, in addition to everything else, your yearning for an intimate relationship just plain tilts the scales too far, then you really have little choice but to divorce your husband. All of your problems are so very complicated. I really hope you will be able to get the help of a social worker.

 

Warmly,

 

Ann

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Another caregiver:

Before his stroke we were on the verge of divorce, he had been sick for several years, leading to it, but this was never the problem, it was the change in his attitude that I decided I could no longer live with, he had left me 2 years prior, I took him back but after 14 years of marriage I couldn't handle it anymore.

May of this year he had his stroke, and I have not left his side since, not only has it given our relationship the kick in the butt it needed but I love him more everyday and he reminds of the little things in life we take for granted, he is also once again the man I married...

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I feel for all of you with brain damage, I am speaking from one who has significant damage of my own. I have gone to great lengths to hide it though, for obvious reasons. Long story short, divorce is inevitable when the affected is the smart one in the duo.

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KimCrowe,

 

I'm an eight year survivor and I hate divorces under any circumstance as I've had three for various reasons but none due to health or sickness. I agree with you in your case and I'm surprised it lasted that long in your marriage when it was you that "was the smart one." I'm surprised you hadn't given up in a relationship of that nature! Just my thoughts and opinion!

Fred!

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Didn't get divorced just because of the stroke...but it was a major contributor, emotionally and financially.

I was the one who filed for divorce, because he wouldn't help pay for medical bills and expected me to be better than before (I had a surgical procedure (not truly surgery) to prevent more strokes and cure ONE of my arrhythmias...but Bryan assumed it cured everything about my heart)

 

(and he was mean to my cat!)

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At first, we were good. Sam,being a brain injury care nurse, he seemed to understand and be able to deal with the rollercoaster our world had become. But, as of this past Monday, Sam has chosen to leave. My short term memory issues and my emotional liability seem to be more than he is capable of dealing with. He has "enough of it" while at work. Yeah, ok. There was a whole lot more going on that he just didn't want to deal with because it didn't make him look like the sainted victem, but I have not been one to air ones soiled frillies in public, and I am not going to start here. We ae going through the divorce process, and will do so as quickly or as slowly as he decides, since I am not going to be the one who pays the $300+ to file. Sam chose tp leave, he can take the financial bullet.

 

Oh, I know, everyone is saying "things could change, he may just need some time away." Sorry, not likely when Tuesday afternoon I had started receiving calls and texts telling me that Sam had called people and told htem we wre getting a divorce, and they wanted to know what happened from my point of view, since Sam had told htem his side of teh story. 1) I told them it was between the 2 of us and I was not going to put anyone but teh judge through the "he said/she said" of it, 2) Once one starts telling the world how "we are gettig divorced," well, they are putting teh intent behind the words. It isn't going to change.

 

But, I'm going to be ok. My kids and my family have rallied around me. My friends know to let meresurface when I feel strong enough. I'm making plans and getting all of my ducks in a row. I will survive this and be just fine.

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A QUOTE FROM THE WRITER HELEN ROWLAND:

 

"When two people decide to get a divorce,

it isn't a sign that they 'don't understand' each other,

but a sign that they have, at last, begun to."

 

offered by

Rachel

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Quote:

I saw a figure once....85% of existing relationships get messed up by Stroke...At first I doubted it....I do no longer...

 

Whilst in rehab,I was told that if a woman becomes disabled then the likelihood of her partner staying is something like 2%. I must have lucked out because my partner is still around, BUT I do not know for how much longer. We were together for only 3 wonderful years before the stroke, and it has been 15 miserable years since the stroke. Three years does not repay for 15 years, and it is patently obvious that he no longer considers me a viable life partner. He got divorced from his first wife about a year ago, and would not have told me except that I saw the paperwork. He was the only man who I had ever wanted to spend the rest of my life with, and it took me 20 years to find him. 20 years from now puts me at 75, too old to start again.

Admittedly I do not know if I would want to marry him, now, since I know that I am no longer good enough for him, and 16 years before I met him, I said No to a proposal because I did not consider the guy good enough for me. If I would not settle for second best, why should my partner have to.

I have often wondered how I would have acted had the tables been turned, and I suspect that, in the end, I too would have left. So he is a better person than me, at this moment in time

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Hi, I am a newbie. This is my first post. I am 36 and a caregiver. My husband, 37, had a stroke in March 2012. At that time he lost complete use of his left arm and faced some left-side blindness (not recognizing that side of the body). He had 4 seizures due to the blood clot in his brain which caused the initial stroke. We came home in April. He regained full use of his arm/hand in the hospital and recovered enough to do outpatient therapy which we do now. Physically, he is doing great, but the mental and emotional strain are tough and I feel the doctors did jack to prepare us for this piece of recovery.

 

I am sorry for the survivors here that have been/are going through divorce. My husband has mood swings, usually very sad and afraid, rarely angry. My husband who never cried before in front of me, cries almost every day. To me, this is just the way life is now. I feel bad that he is upset, but who wouldn't be? Both of our lives have been flipped upside down and spun around. I have been off work taking care of him. Our social life is mostly kapoot right now, but it will revive. Our 7 year wedding anniversary is in September. I love him with all of my heart. He says he has never loved me more. He acknowledges the sacrifices I am making for him and the hardship I am going through too. We keep the communication flowing and do not blame each other for something that is neither person's fault. My husband is a runner, ate healthy, no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, no diabetes, never smoked, healthy weight, and still he had a stroke. No history, no family history. Just a freak happenstance.

 

I want the survivors to know that you are 100% worthy of love and caring and for someone to take care of you and that you can do that for someone else too. You had a stroke, yes, but you are a survivor. Stroke recovery is not for wimps! Take care.

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